Jt Secretary: Joanna Cody Boutcher
Address: Sandhill Racing Stables Bilbrook Minehead Somerset TA24 6HA
M: 07833 444185
Jt Secretary: Gemma Edwards
Address: 19 Wilcocks Close Wellington Somerset TA21 8DL
M: 07980 045686
Entries: Mrs T Parker
Address: Manor Court Steps Farm Bilbrook Minehead Somerset TA24 6HE
T/F: 01984 640245
Entry Fee: £30 for a single race, £10 per additional race same horse
or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd (www.pointtopointentries.co.uk )
Entries Close: Monday 7th May, 12.30 pm
Races: Members - Restricted 2m4f- Club Conditions 8yo+ - Mixed Open – Intermediate – PPORA Conditions Nov Rdrs - Open Maiden
The second of the two very popular meetings held at the attractive setting of Holnicote on the edge of Exmoor is due to take place this coming Saturday. The course is in good condition after Sunday’s meeting with the fences that could be moved being positioned on fresh ground and it has been rolled. It is hoped that if some rain arrives the going will be very similar to the last meeting which received much acclaim from owners and jockeys. Prior to the point to point racing there will be a race at 1.00pm for Exmoor Ponies over 5 furlongs and after racing there will be a party on the course with music from Irish singer/comedian Black Jack Davey. An excellent entry of 98 horses have been received for the seven races so it should be a good afternoon of racing to be enjoyed by racegoers.
The meeting starts with the Hunt Members race for which local owner Elizabeth Scott trains four of the eight entries of which Too Late to Sell is probably her best chance of a win. However the winner of the Hunt race at the Devon and Somerset meeting Steel Brush and Uncle Jimmy placed in a Hunter Chase this season have the best form with the last named likely to be too good for his rivals. Bay to Go has been running well for Abigail Lewis and might reach a place in this race.
The Open Maiden contains a number of horses who have already been placed this season amongst the 18 entries. Redmond Hall has finished second on four of his five outings this season to date and is now trained by National Hunt jockey Matt Griffiths and could be good enough. Likely rivals could include Ivebeentold who stepped up on his previous efforts with a creditable third at Axe Vale, Shanoule Wood who has been placed in all four of his outings this season, Gask Ridge who has run well in three outings in 2018 and Howld Your Whist who was second at the new course of Edgcote and is trained by Fred Hutsby. A couple of newcomers to take note of are The Jitterbug from Keith Cumings stable and the Nick Pearce trained Up the Drive.
The Novice Riders race appears to be dominated by the David Brace trio of Pink Eyed Pedro and William Money both successful for Connor Brace at the previous meeting and Robin des People. Nick Pearce has entered the prolific Kashmir Peak winner of his last three races and Teresa Clark has Subtle Sovereign winner of a Ladies at Larkhill before finding the company too hot last time at Cheltenham. Tindaro an eight times winner under Rules including a race on the Flat in Spain is an interesting recruit to point to pointing for Alex Muirhead. If David Brace decides to travel again from his Welsh base his chosen representative will be the selection.
Different Gravey is unbeaten in his three races this season for owner Richard Kelvin-Hughes and he is the standout horse in the Mixed Open race. Pink Eyed Pedro holds an entry in this race and may give the selection the most to do. It is good to see an entry for the Jade Barber trained Golden Hoof who has been absent since winning at Charlton Horethorne in 2017 and if he is fit he would have a chance against the favourite. Navanman has been the model of consistency this season for trainer John Heard but he may have to settle for a place in this company. Dancing Olga has yet to run this season but has bits and pieces of form and ran well on her seasonal debut in 2017 in a Hunter Chase at Exeter.
The Conditions race for 8 year olds and over contains an entry for Robin des People and if this race is chosen by David Brace then he may be too good for his rivals. Crackacan has been running well this season and looks his principal rival. Bedrock Fred finished second behind Subtle Sovereign at Larkhill before being third at Horseheath. La Madonnina won her Hunt race at Axe Vale and Trueflyingcolours won his Hunt race at Larkhill whist Fly West has won his latest two starts the last being at Littlewindsor on Monday. Go Odee Go ought to come on for his seasonal debut and may be worth considering each way.
The Restricted race over two and half miles may be fought out between two previous winners namely Earthly Reason who won well over this trip at Trebudannon and Hugos Horse who won at Axe Vale over the full three miles. Both stables (Claire Harris and Rose Loxton) are in fine form and it is difficult to split them. Jabbea is starting to show a return to his best form from 2017 and comes into contention as does the Welsh raider Snow Puma successful at Ystradowen earlier this season. Earthly Reason is a tentative selection.
The meeting concludes with a competitive looking Intermediate race for which thirteen horses have been entered. Dual winners this season Cona River trained by Claire Hitch, Sixteen Letters trained by Claire Harris and Mistercobar trained by Fred Hutsby look the most likely winners. The Welsh pair of Bleu Et Or and Bracho both won their Restricted races last time and come into contention as does Kapoupakap who has been placed twice this season. Lady Jameson won two points in Ireland but her form for Alex Dunn has not been very inspiring under rules in England and she is now in care of Zoe Hawkins. Cona River is chosen to continue his progress through the ranks.
First race is at 2pm and the course is signed from the A39 between Minehead and Porlock – TA24 8TE. Admission is £10 per person (max £30 per car). Tickets can also be purchased online via www.holnicoteraces.co.uk
Holnicote Results Sat 12th May
1 Bay To Go 2 Uncle Jimmy 3 Swansbrook
1 Gask Ridge 2 Redmond Hall 3 Ivebeentold
PPORA Nov Rider
1 High Hatton 2 William Money 3 Midnight Appeal
1 Pink Eyed Pedro 2 Abyaat 3 The Flying Doc
1 Robin des People 2 La Madonnina 3 Go Odee Go
1 Alottamo 2 The Quarterjack 3 Jabbea
1 Cona River 2 Sixteen Letters 3 Give Us Peace
The picturesque course of Holnicote under Dunkery Beacon was the site for the second of two meetings held there when the Minehead Harriers and West Somerset held their annual point to point. A dry and mostly sunny day welcomed a good crowd of racegoers who enjoyed an afternoon of racing where the Welsh raiders managed to win four of the seven races including a double for leading novice Connor Brace and a first winner for Jack Tudor on his first ride. Elsewhere there was a first winner for Sean Graham and an impressive front running performance by Cona River in the Intermediate race.
The opening race, the Hunt race, gave 24 year old Sean Graham a first win on his very first point to point ride when he made virtually all the running aboard Bay to Go trained by his partner Abigail Lewis at Cheddar Gorge. Watched by many of Philip Hobbs staff for whom Sean works as his feed man this was a very popular winner although Sean did admit that the victory should have been Abigail’s as without a broken collarbone sustained in a fall at Larkhill she would have ridden the twelve year old gelding. Previously owned by Heather Kemp the gelding was purchased at the end of last year by commentator Nick Child with the goal of running in the Grand Military Gold Cup but as he then took up his role in Singapore Abigail and Sean took over the horse to run in point to points. By coincidence Nick was back in England and was able to watch his former charge secure his first victory in over two years.
The biggest field of the day of eleven horses took part in the Open Maiden and it seemed that Richard Barber’s Doyoumind was going to score until he unseated his rider Martin McIntyre at the second last. This left IveBeentold and Redmond Hall to duel approaching the last until Nick Lawton produced Gask Ridge to lead on the run in to prevail by a neck from Redmond Hall. Owned by a five strong partnership called the Devon Diamonds Friends and trained by Barry Sanderson at Tiverton the gelding, formerly trained under rules by Christian Williams , appreciated the faster ground and showed no ill effect of having run at the course only six days earlier.
There was a surprise result in the Novice Riders race when the most successful horse in the country William Money was beaten by High Hatton ridden by Jack Tudor by eight lengths. Always prominent High Hatton gave his rivals a jumping lesson and a day that his sixteen year old rider will never forget. Having only celebrated his birthday on the previous Wednesday this was Jack’s first ride in public and something he had been looking forward to since he first started riding. His proud father Jonathan Tudor said that Jack had been riding High Hatton since the age of twelve and thought that the gelding would appreciate the better ground. Connor Brace riding the runner up was gracious in defeat saying that ‘if anyone had to beat me then he was pleased that it was Jack’ and added that they had ridden in a number of pony races together.
Connor soon got on the winner mark for the meeting when Pink Eyed Pedro was too good for his three rivals in the Mixed Open race. In a very slow run race Pink Eyed Pedro owned by his grandfather David had three lengths to spare over Abyaat ridden by Nick Lawton and then made it a double for the day aboard Robin des People again owned by his grandfather in the Conditions Race. David had only flown back from Marbella where he was undertaking a project in the morning to see his grandson ride his sixteenth and seventeenth victories of this season
There was a fourth Welsh victory on the day in the Restricted race but this was another turn up when outsider Alottamo ridden by Ben Jones stayed on to beat The Quarterjack ridden by George Hiscock by four lengths. Owned and trained by Scarlett Major at Bridgend the mare had shown little this season but the better ground and the shorter trip seemed to play to her strengths. Due to be partnered by Connor Brace until he was claimed to ride another horse for his grandfather Ben had never sat on the winner until the race but proved to be a good substitute.
Josh Newman was another substitute rider to score on the day as he stood in for the injured Martin McIntyre aboard Ed and Claire Hitch’s Cona River in the Intermediate race. Setting off in front his jumping after the first few fences was excellent and despite being challenged by Sixteen Letters ridden by Will Biddick over the final two fences he still had two lengths in hand at the winning post. Now a winner of a maiden, restricted and intermediate this season the eight year old is one of the most improved horses in training in the South West and a credit to his connections.